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Brain Damaged Child Reaches Multimillion Pound Settlement with Great Ormond Street Hospital

Friday, 28 March 2014

Great Ormond Street Hospital is world renowned for its treatment of children suffering from serious illnesses. Unfortunately even the most respected institutions are capable of making mistakes and in a children’s hospital they have the potential to be particularly tragic.

A terrible case in which a 10 year old girl, Maisha Najeeb, was given permanent brain damage by a mistake that occurred during an operation in 2010 was recently settled by Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children NHS Trust for several million pounds.

Background to Maisha Najeeb’s Claim

Maisha Najeeb suffered from a rare condition known as arteriovenous malformation which occurs when there are abnormal connections between arteries and veins. Although the condition can cause health problems such as small bleeds, many sufferers lead relatively normal lives.

In Maisha Najeeb’s case she had previously suffered from a number of bleeds in her brain that had been successfully treated. The treatment involved the injection of glue into problem blood vessels and the injection of a harmless dye into the patient’s blood stream to monitor the flow of blood around her head.

The glue and the dye were held in separate syringes for the purposes of the operation but the two were mixed up during the procedure meaning that glue was injected into the blood stream in Maisha’s head. This caused catastrophic and permanent brain damage.

How Did Such a Catastrophic Clinical Mistake Occur?

On this particular occasion it was shown that there was no system in place during the operation to distinguish between the two syringes. Therefore, the glue and the dye were mixed up with terrible consequences that were entirely avoidable.

How Did the Parties Reach a Settlement?

Before the operation Maisha Najeeb was a young girl with an unusual but treatable condition who lead a relatively normal life. After suffering from the tragic accident during her operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital she was left wheelchair bound and in need of assistance with even basic tasks.

In an initial claim against the hospital in 2012, it admitted liability for negligence. The compensation claim was due to be heard in the High Court in order to decide the amount of the damages that Maisha should receive.

Prior to the compensation claim being heard the parties settled and the settlement was subsequently approved by Judge William Birtles at London's High Court. Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children NHS Trust agreed to pay a £2.8m lump sum with £383,000 being paid each year until she reaches 19 and £423,000 each year for the rest of her life.


This case demonstrates that negligence can occur with tragic consequences even in the most prestigious health care facilities. If you would like to discuss the implications of this case or have a claim you need assistance with, we have experienced lawyers who can help you. Please contact Sarah Vincent by email or by telephone 020 7611 4848.

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